50 years ago: The railway coach of Lake Windermere station at Athalmer was officially retired, as “no one wanted to travel on it anymore.” Heated by a pot-bellied stove and lighted by coal oil lamps, the coach or its twin had travelled up and down the Kootenay Central Railway since 1915. Over the preceding year to its closure, only six passengers had used the line.
45 years ago: A man with “phenomenal versatility” was to present one of the most “unusual acts in the world,” when hypnotist Cole was coming to Invermere. The show included deception, ventriloquism, sharpshooting, escapeology, illusions, the “mysteries of the east” and psychic phenomena. It was also being promoted as a clean, educational and wholesome show for the entire family.
35 years ago: Two East Kootenay Young Canada Works projects were approved. As part of the federal government’s job-creation attempts, the two projects, which included beautifying Radium and providing new recreation activities for the Windermere Valley, were to receive over $72,000 and were expected to create 40 summer jobs for students.
23 years ago: Toll free phone calls from Canal Flats to Invermere was one step closer to becoming a reality with the installation of a new electronic switch. B.C. Tel had installed a new generation of “computerized switching equipment” in Canal Flats due to extensive growth in the area. The switch was considered one of the most advanced digital switches on the market and could cost between $500,000 and $2 million.
20 years ago: Invermere’s long-term care facility was to receive a $1 million dollar commitment from the provincial government. The Lake Windermere District Benevolent Society also committed more than $500,000 to the project, which was to be built in the former hospital building that adjoined the new Invermere and District Hospital.
15 years ago: The process for selecting a landfill site for the valley was looming on the horizon. The original Windermere site was expected to have a lifespan of 30 years, however after 20 years there had been so much growth a new site was needed. The 46.5 acre Windermere site was due to be replaced by something twice that size, and was budgeted $150,000 for the task.
10 years ago: Seven of the 15 acute care beds were axed in the Invermere and District Hospital after an assessment by the Interior Health Authority. At the time, there were very real fears that the hospital would be completely shut down, prompting District of Invermere mayor Mark Shmigelsky to say the valley should “consider ourselves lucky,” in light of what was happening across B.C. at the time.
5 years ago: The Shuswap Indian Band repeated its position concerning not being a part of the Ktunaxa Nation. The Shuswap stated in a press release that they wanted nothing to do with the Ktunaxa treaty process because of a lack of cultural recognition and “blatant attempts by the Ktunaxa to assimilate the Shuswap land and outdated treaty process that dilutes the rights of First Nations.”